INTRODUCTION: I transcribed as much of this interview as I could make out, but I erred in setting up my tape recorder, so the audio was awful. I spent the most time trying to recover Gary's explanation of why Christians shouldn't invoke God as their authority. Ironically, I noticed after he said that, I quoted a verse again, as if not absorbing his plea; but this time he not only agreed but said I was making his case for him! Where I insert ..., that's where I just couldn't make out the tape. I use parenthesis ( ) for places I can't recover word for word but can get the gist of. Brackets are for comments I am adding to the discussion. The tape picked up my voice fine; the missing parts are in Gary's statements.
GS: I want to take the time right now to talk with a guy...Dave Leach, from Des Moines. Dave, welcome to the Gary Sutton show on WSBA.
Me: Yeah. Thanks for the chance.
GS: Great to have you on and Iím sorry we didnít get a chance to do that last week. ...but we were talking about immigration and a lot of other things...I guess you guys in Iowa are kind of tired of all the attention out there. Would I be correct?
Me: Well I donít know, it was kind of heady, and now we look forward to 8 years of obscurity.
GS: (Laughs) I like that answer. I got your notebook [email] the other day, and it says ...
Me: Let me just give you an example of how heady it was. In our precinct last night, guess who came to our little group of 40, 50 people? [Actually 59]. GS: Who?
Me: The governor of Missouri!
Me: To talk about, for his man, Romney!
GS: Thatís great. When I was out there last week, I was amazed. You couldnít throw a dead rat and not hit a candidate. It was pretty incredible. ...what you do out there is very helpful. I am very impressed. ...particularly the Democratís process. ...the speeches...
Me: Well the Republicans do that too. The only difference is the Republicans donít have the viability test. We just report a raw Straw Poll vote.
GS: The Republican (way is more boring). But talk to me about immigration. Tell me a little bit about where you stand and what you ...I know last week you had a concern...(FAIR organized this, but Iím a guy who thinks for myself, and I know the immigration process is terrible, the CIS losing forms and making applications pay twice, we need to resolve this problem so all people for all people in this country, naturalized, natural born or whoever, are going to satisfy...])
Me: Iím sure glad you said that. Iím sure interested in solutions. Win-win solutions. I think they require a better grasp of the facts. If I can give an analogy: Letís say you have 1,000 people waiting to use the bathroom, but you have only 10 Kybos. 1% of the need. But behind the Kybos are an unlimited supply of bushes, but theyíre behind a fence with a no trespassing sign posted. And not only that, but there is no organized line, and for every person exiting a Kybo, 10 more arrive to use it. Now no one wants to use the bushes. No one wants to dishonor a no trespassing sign, but as long as the preferred relief requires waiting longer than it is humanly possible to wait, the bushes are going to remain busy, no matter what you do with the fence.
GS: If I were in anywhere other than the United States right now, (I would do anything I could to get in.) But we have a problem we need to solve. Have we done a good job of that? No. With the way we naturalize people. Do we need to (waive reclamation?) the way we allow naturalized citizens in this country? Yes. Do we need to get away from this racket where we make people pay over and over again (because the CIS loses applications and applicants have to resubmit their applications and fees) which I think is stupid? But it seems to me that the way we are doing this now...we are creating a subclass...the idea that when you come to a country, to me, come to this country as a naturalized citizen, a lawful citizen, naturalized or whatever, you ought to have the right to be able to have what I have. ...and if you donít have that, thatís wrong. We kind of look the other way, a wink and a nod. Yeah, we will let you come in, and we will hire you, ...
Me: Well I appreciate everything youíre saying. I think the root problem is numerical limitations. We let only 100,000 Mexicans come a year. It varies from year to year.
GS: Weíve had quotas our whole national history, all the way back.
Me: Well the first one was 1882. When we decided Chinese couldnít come, not even one. Before that, there was no such, it was impossible to come illegally. Anyone could come.
GS: ...as our country became more and more populous, we said wait a second. We created limits as all countries do. ... (too much immigration is) a drag on our economy. The idea is that we have to somehow get control of our borders. We agree on that. Now the American view is not about (unfairness). We need a level playing field, to get control. If we repeal limits, what does that say to those who have stood in line? Those are the big questions I would have. Your thoughts.
[My following response barely addressed Gary's questions. Later I had a chance to talk more about his theory that "too much immigration is a drag on our econmy", but I never addressed "if we repeal limits, what does that say to those who have stood in line?" Here is my answer to the second point: Politicians say it wouldnít be fair to immigrants who have stood in our cruel line, to deliver future immigrants from the suffering we require. If we created a fair immigration bureaucracy, that would be unfair to all the past immigrants to whom we have been unfair. So to be fair, we need to continue being unfair. Although it is actually possible to find past immigrants who resent any effort to ease immigration in the future because future immigrants should have to get behind them in bureaucratic Hell, I think most past immigrants would be relieved, because even after they get their own citizenship, they have to wait additional years to get their families here so their families can be reunited.]
Me: We need to stop kicking thorn bushes barefoot. We have a stupid law that cannot possibly, physically or logically, achieve its stated goals, itís not achieving them, and we need to change it. Unfortunately we have in the rhetoric war, this word ďamnestyĒ which originally meant to not change a law at all but to forgive people who committed treason in a war which is now over. And then Reagan came along and used the word ďamnestyĒ as a metaphor for what he planned to do with immigration, and then lesser minds came and took that thing and mistook the metaphor for a definition, and now we have it meaning ďto change a stupid law, a thing which we must never do.Ē We HAVE a stupid law. We NEED to change it. And every time you change a stupid law, you change your definition of who is breaking it.
GS: What is the stupid law that you refer to?
Me: Well, numerical limitations is really the root of our problems. If we got rid of those we would have no security problem, we would save a huge amount of money, every problem would be solved.
GS (You have to have limits. You say ...we should have no restrictions... and thatís the way it is, I donít think that IS the way it is. Thatís part of sovereignty.
Me: My bad. I didnít mean to say there would be no restrictions at all, but I think Numerical Limitations should be replace with, and by the way I find Biblical precedent for all of this. I find Biblical clues for not only replacing them with numerical limitations but for replacing them with simple criteria which citizens already naturally meet.
GS: (Something about not discriminating, following rules though ďwe may not have done a great job of operating by themĒ. The CIS loses applications, so applicants have to pay the fees again, file them again, and wait again.) ďThereís a whole racket going on that you and I are probably aware of. Iím not saying the laws we have right now are perfect. They are not.Ē (But we need limits. We canít just let everyone cross. )
ME: If we give speedy processing to those who learn English, who learn how our freedom and prosperity works, who maybe pay back their hospital bills, I canít imagine why we wouldnít want as many of these quality immigrants as we can get. We have citizens with these wonderful rights that we have grown up with which a lot of us take for granted, barely understanding them. We have other people who are risking their lives to come and enjoy these liberties. Iím not going to say citizens are inferior, but I donít think the quality of those who want to come in [makes them inferior]. Weíre attracting the very best from the world. Iím grateful for them. GS: They are, I agree. But the fact that people are risking their lives to come here is not an argument that holds water. ...(Coming across the border illegally) is not the way you want to start (your life here).[Well, obviously, when God brings immigrants to help us, Amos 9:7, neither God nor the immigrants are glad that we outlaw them. When God brought His Son to earth from Heaven, no doubt God would have preferred not to have to smuggle Him in, in violation of Herod's law. ].. I know there are a lot of illegals who are hard working, but a lot of Americans are hard working too. Iím not going to apologize for American workers, to say they are somehow inferior, ...that is not something to apologize for. Those people who are trying to come here, ...we need to find a way...to have rights...that have nothing to do with who they are, or what they are, the idea that they are hard workers is good enough. A lot of people are hard working who come here, but our country can only sustain so (much population). ...
ME: There are a couple of points you raised that I would love to be able to address. One of them...
GS: Can we take a break and come right back to you? Is that OK?
(break) During the break, the producer came on the phone, ďI just wanted to say you are doing a great job.Ē I thanked him, but I remain astonished. As I listen to the tape of my slow halting speech, compared with Garyís polished easy flowing verbiage, I marvel both that he would think it, and that he would say it. I certainly think he merits more kudos than I, for his courtesy.
GS: There are some points you wanted to make. I wanted to give you the chance to make them.
ME: Thank you. You mentioned a couple of things. One is whether there is a population limit to what we can absorb. Another is the color of the debate on what others call ďrule of lawĒ. Whether people have a real bad start coming here in violation of our laws. Let me address the second first. This concept of this word ďlawĒ, people have forgotten what the word meant when America began. Our Founders used the term ďrule of lawĒ as a radical concept. It was contrasted with the rule of a tyrant. The difference between [the rule of] a tyrant, whether itís a single tyrant or the majority of a democracy, the difference between that and ďlawĒ, is that the edict of a tyrant exempts the tyrant from the [so called] ďlawĒ. The rule of a majority would be a restriction against the minority which would not apply to the majority. Jesus made a comment about that. He said ďWoe to you, ye lawyers, for you lay burdens upon men which you will not touch with one of your fingers.Ē [Luke 11:46] And when we have a restriction, we have immigration restrictions on people coming here, that put tremendous burdens, inhumane burdens which we have no experience of [do not have to experience] and would not accept experience of.
GS: (Something about authority, every country has to have rules of admission.) ďI think if you donít have rules for entering countries then you donít need to have countries. Thereís no reason to have sovereignty in this nation.
Me: This understanding of law as something which the majority can use to restrict others undermines the very foundation of our own freedom. Our declaration of independence says that ALL men, all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights, among these are liberty. And when we draw a line (around the rights of others) at the border, itís like other lines weíve drawn in the past. Weíve drawn the line at skin color in the past. Well, we can enslave these people. In 1973 we drew the line at the womb. We said well, we can tear these people limb from limb. And here again, we have another line that weíve drawn at our border, a place where God has not drawn it. And thatís the fundamental problem. God has certain statements about what [who] we ought to let through the border [like violent, armed invaders] and what conditions we ought to put on it. When we exceed these, we violate Godís laws in addition to having misunderstanding of [the very meaning of the word] law which defies the very concept of the ďrule of lawĒ as it was understood at the beginning of our nation.
GS: (The anti-Bible response)
talk about, we go,
talk about, 3rd world countries.... as well.
The idea that somehow weíre allowing one group of people to operate under one set of rules and another group of people to operate under another set of rules, and group one has the same kind of access, is not the way we work. Ití s not a fair and just system. [Gary and I both grieve that in America we have two different groups of people living under different sets of rules. But the two groups unevenly restricted that concern me are immigrants denied a legal line by citizens, for which I blame citizens, while the two groups that concern him are immigrants who found a legal line, compared with those denied a legal line, for which he blames those denied a legal line.]
GS: (Cont'd) Iím not one to say itís wrong for government and religion to work fairly well together, and I just donít think they do. And I think to try to invoke God as the arbiter, your supporter, I donít believe itís gonna work too good. Because thatís not where we are. We have all kinds of people in this country. Again I come back to the diversity that we have that made our country great. And we come back to, what are the general rules of sovereignty and standards that weíre going to be able to operate, to have confidence to come into this country and come and be one.
And the idea that somehow, weíll be the same as the constitutional mayo wait room we donít HAVE a wait room any more. And I donít want to see it reinstituted by using this kind of message that we need to right now to create a subclass
GS: (Cont'd) Iím not one to say itís wrong for government and religion to work fairly well together, and I just donít think they do. And I think to try to invoke God as the arbiter, your supporter, I donít believe itís gonna work too good. Because thatís not where we are. We have all kinds of people in this country. Again I come back to the diversity that we have that made our country great. And we come back to, what are the general rules of sovereignty and standards that weíre going to be able to operate, to have confidence to come into this country and come and be one. And the idea that somehow, weíll be the same as the constitutional mayo wait room we donít HAVE a wait room any more. And I donít want to see it reinstituted by using this kind of message that we need to right now to create a subclasssomething that weíre doing something more change more diff of what they would make if they were naturalized citizens in this country and if worst comes to worst here and have some employer hold it over their head the fact that they were going to send them back and say they donít accept a decent wage. And thatís a problem.
ME: Thatís a problem for me too. And thatís a problem that would go away if we repealed Numerical Limitations and replaced them with simple criteria.
GS: What simple criteria do you mean?
ME: I would propose learning English. The precedent I find is in Exodus 12:49, it says you shall have the same law for yourselves as for the immigrant. But the verses before that give an example of a criteria which natural born citizens naturally meet, which immigrants must satisfy before they can enjoy the full rights of citizenship.
GS: You make my argument. Weíre exactly on the same page. You have the same law for the immigrant as for yourselves. If thatís the case, then we want a level playing field for everybody. And if we want to accept ...into this country I couldnít agree with you more. Those are both very important to what we gotta do. [Notice Gary's previous statement discouraged invoking God's authority; yet when I went ahead and did it (really, I was not consciously defying him, but was just talking the way I always talk) he agreed with me. I am really uncertain what two unevenly restricted groups he means. His previous statement seems to compare immigrants in a legal line with those denied one, but this statement seems to compare immigrants and citizens. He elsewhere states that he grieves over unauthorized immigrants marginalized into a "subclass" without rights. On the other hand he doesn't want to repeal our Numerical Limitations on how many of them may enjoy liberty here.]
ME: We would not tolerate Numerical Limitation on our rights to free speech, religion, or liberty, and I donít think we should tolerate them for immigrants.
GS: Well I disagree with your interpretation. Take a look at Southwestern United States. We have over 12 ... hospitals shut down. Because they have been overwhelmed by the degree of health care they had to provide for illegal aliens.
ME: I appreciate that. And that would be solved IF we repeal Numerical Limitations and include in our criteria, speedy processing in return for credit for repayment of those hospital bills.
GS: How can they pay them, with the kind of wages they get?
ME: Well, if you give them credit for speedy processing, theyíll come together, and theyíll pay them. Believe me, they want very much to be legal.
GS: I understand that, but you canít pay with what you donít have. My point is when you are sent under a certain number for so long, theyíre not going to be able to repay stuff even if they donít have it. [If the concern is for our own hospital budgets, the solution is to reward them with legal status for repaying hospitals. Or simply not using hospitals. There can be no question that those costs will stop, if we demand it. But if the concern then is, "we can't just deny them hospital care; they will die", then we will have to decide whether we care more about our wallets or their lives. It isn't very compassionate to say "since we can't just let you die outside our hospitals, and since we can't afford to pay for you to go inside our hospitals, we will simply deport you to where there are no hospitals." I believe the compassionate balance is to offer them points towards speedy processing of their applications in proportion to their nonuse, or repayment, of government subsidized services, and then they will be motivated to repay as much as they can, short of dying. ]
GS (Cont'd): And thatís how people are in debt. Thatís thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. ...So many people today are starting to accept services, be it education, health care, other economic areas where jobs at $20 an hour ...you have some kind of barometer, get in line but thereís only so many ...the country can only hold so many people ...something like 5% now are on unemployment. Weíre at a birthing point. (Maybe we need to put a moratorium on all immigration, legal and illegal). we need to put our house in order before we ...the people coming in as well as the people already here.
ME: Thatís an awful lot of people standing at the Kybos to be shutting down the Kybos for 2 years.
GS: Look donít get me wrong. One point you made is very good. I agree with you. Itís not a good system that we have at the moment. [people paying for forms, the CIS loses them and makes them pay again], I find that to be reprehensible. ...I donít think you can have a back door and let everybody in, because everybody else who has stood in line ....
ME: Well thatís why we need to change the law. Repealing Numerical Limitations would CREATE a front door.
GS: Weíll have to settle that another day. I appreciate you coming to talk, and Iíd like to do it again some time. I thank you for contacting me. I look forward to continuing this debate....
ME: Thank you very much.
GS: Thank YOU very much, Dave. And have a good time as you watch the rest of the country go what you went through.
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